The weirdest weather ever

This week it’s World Meteorological Day – and as meteorology is the scientific study of the atmosphere, focusing on weather processes and forecasting, here’s the craziest facts and stats about our planet’s fascinating climate…

  • Screen Shot 2015-03-20 at 09.45.41The hottest temperature ever recorded on Earth is 57.8°C (136°F), recorded in Al ‘Aziziyah, Libya on 13 September 1922.
  • The coldest temperature is −89.2°C (−128.6°F), recorded at Vostok Station, Antarctica on 21 July 1983.
  • The most rainfall ever recorded in 24 hours is 182.5cm (71.9in) in Foc-Foc, La Réunion, during tropical cyclone Denise on 8 January 1966.
  • The heaviest hailstone ever recorded weighed 1kg (2.25lb) and landed in Gopalganj District, Bangladesh on 14 April 1986.
  • The fastest wind speed ever recorded is 486km/h (302mph)in Oklahoma City, USA on 3 May 1999.
  • The greatest snowfall ever in a single storm was 189in (15.75ft) at the Mount Shasta Ski Bowl, US, in February, 1959.

And did you know….

  • The Earth experiences millions of lightning storms every year. They are incredible discharges of electricity from the atmosphere that can reach temperatures close to 54,000°F /30,000°C – the surface of the sun is not even this hot, at around 11,000°F – and speeds of 60,000m/s (130,000mph).
  • Close to 2,000 thunderstorms are going on around the world this very moment. Lightning generated by those storms will strike 6,000 different spots on earth in the next minute.
  • The average lightning strike is 6 miles long.
  • The eye of a hurricane can be anywhere from 2 miles (3.2km) in diameter to over 200 miles (320 kilometres) but they are usually around 30 miles (48km).
  • The USA has more tornadoes than any other country in the world, averaging around 1,200 a year. This is due largely to its unique geography, which forms an area in central USA called “Tornado Alley” which is frequently hit.
  • A “moonbow” is a rare lunar rainbow or night-time rainbow, produced by light from the moon. Our eyes see it as white, even though all colours are faintly present.

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